Weekend Update: PPE In The Workplace

Safety equipment in the NHL is meant to protect players when they are at their most vulnerable, like sprawled out on the ice.

It was a freak accident, a one in a million chance, but still another star Oilers player has succumb to injury. Taylor Hall slipped on a puck during warmup, slid into a corner taking down Ladislav Smid and Corey Potter attempted to jump over it all. It was a traumatic injury for the entire team. For Potter, it was the horror of knowing that he injured a teammate and that it could have been much worse. For Hall's teammates, it is knowing that once again another Oiler is on the injured reserve.

This accident of course sparked discussion on helmets and NHLers. Many players opt not to wear helmets, part of their personal protection equipment during warmups because it's not mandatory and because when these players were younger, they saw their hockey heroes skating without helmets. Now however, with the speed of the game faster, shots faster and harder and hundreds of pucks flying around during warmups, goaltenders wear their full equipment, but many skaters do not. Hall's injury is sparking discussion once again that helmets should be worn by players at all time on the ice.

It is interesting that the Oilers have teamed with Capital Power Corporation to create a series of commercials this season promoting the use of proper safety equipment, and the right tools for the job in the workplace. In them, Devan Dubnyk wears his equipment in place of what is required in a field job. The slogan is "Be Smart. Work Safe." It doesn't matter that they are hockey players, or that they are playing a game, it is still their livelihood, and for NHLers, the game is their job. This isn't the same as saying that tag isn't safe for kids to play on the school yard, this is saying that pucks and now skates to the head can do serious harm.

On a much lighter note, Jordan Eberle has made his long awaited return. The teams' leading scorer played his first game back Thursday in the team's 1 -0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Eberle may not have added to the scoresheet, but he had an impact on the game, and will hopefully do the same Saturday night against the Flames.

When Pennercakes and the rest of the Los Angeles Kings came to town on Sunday, Penner was gifted with a jug of maple syrup from his ex-teammates. While the syrup behind the bench in LA on Tuesday helped Penner score a goal, in Edmonton it helped the Oilers get a 2-1 OT win.

Tuesday night, the Oilers fell 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. This loss may have been the biggest disappointment of the week. The Oilers had a two goal lead and they let it slide to the team who has struggled the most this season.

The Oilers held their annual Skills Competition on Saturday. There were a couple surprises, such as Ben Eager winning the fastest skater competition when he stepped in for Magnus Paajarvi. Paajarvi had a sore foot from the night before when the winger took a hard shot off of the foot.

There have been some renderings released on what the new Oilers arena could look like. After seeing the video and pictures, I'm ready to put on my boots and grab a shovel. Let's get this project started.

The Edmonton Oil Kings fell 4-3 to the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday afternoon at a time when both teams are playing the best hockey of their season. This game was a close battle and the first meeting between the two teams in Calgary. Edmonton had won all three of their home games in the WHL battle of Alberta. The team would however earn a win against the Prince George Cougars Wednesday night. In the game, Michael St. Croix earned a natural hat-trick, and the Oil Kings would win 5-0.

With Friday night's 6-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos, the Oil Kings have matched their franchise record of 31 wins, and the season is far from over. This will be the best season for the modern Oil Kings.

***

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